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How Dull Ocean Stones Are Transformed Into Colorful Masterpieces

Written by Minh Nguyen
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Elspeth McLean cannot turn stones into bread, but she can transform them into art that’s nothing short of divine.

With acrylic paint, small sable paintbrushes, and formidable patience, the Australian artist creates radiating patterns of intensely colored dots on the stones she collects from the ocean shores of Canada. The result? Gorgeous, colorful mandalas.

According to Elspeth, who is currently based in Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada with her husband, she achieves the brilliant colors her works are known for by applying her paint generously multiple times. She sticks with her medium, acrylic paint, because it dries fast without losing vibrancy, allowing her to add layers upon layers of color.

Elspeth’s stones all display her signature painting style she calls “dotillism”. She finds drawing her mandalas’ hundreds of tiny dots meditative, perfect for someone who wants her work to connect people with their inner child.

On her personal website, Elspeth explains the philosophy behind her art.

She writes, “By using bright and vivid colors and intricate dot work style, the artwork I create becomes a direct expression of my experience of life. I tend to focus on the more uplifting and beautiful aspects of this world because I think there is already enough darkness. This mindset helps me keep alert, in the moment, and I try to see the positive aspect in any situation.”

With her vibrant imagination, keen attention to details, and a belief in the healing power of art, Elspeth has earned a name for herself and quite a following.

Her colorful creations, which she sells in her Etsy shop, have grabbed the attention of many. In fact, her mandala stones have become so popular that she requests those who already have one to resist buying for now so new customers would have more of a chance to get a stone of their own. Imagine that!

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If you want one of Elspeth’s colorful mandala stones but find none available, don’t fret. Elspeth posts more stones for sale every few days. Just cross your fingers and stalk her Etsy shop and Facebook page religiously. Her designs also appear on mugs, tote bags, clothes, floor rugs, and even laptop skins. You can buy these products from her online store.

colorful mandala stones
    colorful mandala stones
      colorful mandala stones
        colorful mandala stones
          colorful mandala stones
            colorful mandala stones
              colorful mandala stones
                colorful mandala stones
                  putting the finishing touch on a mandala stone
                    colorful mandala stone
                      another colorful mandala stone
                        colorful mandala stones
                          colorful mandala stones

                            Featured photo credit: gnmills via freeimages.com

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